Tagged: double standards are double the fun

Court of Appeal on comedian sex offender: not entirely good news

So, finally, the comedian who sexually assaulted a child but was initially discharged because  he’s so funny then re-sentenced because that’s not actually a fucking excuse will finally actually serve his sentence.  Which is only eight months’ home detention anyway.

Here’s the latest problem (because this story is just packed full of delicious, angry-making problems):

Judge Cunningham decided not to sentence Comedian Z (as referred to by the courts) because it would damage his career.  (My thoughts on this argument remain the same: Sexually assaulting a kid SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER.)

Judge Perkins decided this argument was bunkum not because sexually assaulting a child SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER but because:

[he] considered that, to a significant extent, the adverse consequences had already been suffered and would not be significantly exacerbated by the refusal of a discharge

And this is what the Court of Appeal has agreed with in choosing to enforce the frankly pathetic sentence.

Not because sexually assaulting a four-year-old is fucking awful.  Not because changing your story about sexually assaulting a four-year-old – “oh I don’t remember what happened” but “oh I thought she was my adult partner” – is fucking digusting.

Nope, it’s okay for this guy to serve eight fucking months‘ home detention because his career’s already been shot to hell – AS IT FUCKING SHOULD BE – so a sentence can’t make it worse.

Which leaves only the fucking terrifying conclusion that if his career hadn’t already been ruined by his sexual assault of a child … the Court of Appeal would entertain the idea he should be let off.  Their argument is literally that his career can’t be ruined any worse by a custodial sentence, so he should serve a sentence.

For, let me just remind you one last time, sexually assaulting a four-year-old.

Our fucking justice system, ladies and gentlemen.  If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the Angry Dome.

Irony in action: antichoice whinge edition

Within 24 hours of appearing on Close Up, Alison McCulloch of ALRANZ received a threatening email directed at her and the Southland abortion clinic.

ProLife New Zealand decided this was a great opportunity to stage an online performance art piece known colloquially as “Witness The Gigantic Throbbing Double Standard“, by first stating ALRANZ is:

making a MASSIVE deal out of a SOLITARY and anonymous email which they claim is threatening violence against them

… and then, entitling their post “The very real violence and intimidation of the pro-CHOICE movement in NZ” they …

have a massive cry over a solitary four-year-old YouTube video.

Yes, “real violence” indeed.  (It uses cuss words!  Oh noes!  And also, I totally heard from my friend’s cousin’s brother-in-law that someone totally tried to set a prolifer on fire this one time.  Trufax.  Because that wouldn’t be the kind of thing antichoicers would raise at every single opportunity.)

Meanwhile, Wikipedia has a whole article on “antiabortion violence” and … sweet fuck all on “prochoice violence”.  Fucking Conservapedia does not mention “violence” in its article on abortion once.

It may just pay to note that this is happening in the context of Southlanders For Hate saying they “would continue to find ways to stop the [Southland] abortion services from continuing”.

Sorry, antichoice scum.  The simple fact of the matter is that, to someone who doesn’t buy your contemptible Holocaust comparisons, only one side of this debate has an extensive history of violence against the other.

So please, stop embarrassing yourselves by pretending that there is even a vague equivalence between the angry rhetoric of prochoicers and your movement actually killing people.  I’ll even be charitable and ignore all the pregnant people you’ve been happy to let die – whether from haemmhoraging to death on hotel room floors, committing suicide, or simply being denied lifesaving medical treatment – and ask you this:  who’s your Dr Tiller, you sadistic, controlling, violence-inciting thugs?

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More on this from Green MP Jan Logie, who’s fucking awesome, and Maryan Street.  Who may be, but that’s the level of profile of stroppy Labour women for you.

Second chances redux

So, however briefly, Mike Tyson was issued a visa to come to New Zealand and make money off his celebrity, despite the fact that a large amount of that celebrity (especially if you’re not into boxing) comes from him being a convicted rapist and general thug.

And when there was an outcry (which apparently caused Life Education Trust to revisit their policy on letting anyone in the office have access to the official letterhead) there were the usual cries:  but he’s reformed!  Give him a second chance!

And strangely enough I was reminded of a post I wrote three whole years ago about second chances.  And I realised that there’s a bit more to the bullshit around “second chances” which I didn’t address.

I do, absolutely, believe in second chances.

But second chances don’t mean that we can never again make an accurate statement about the bad thing, for fear of magically negating the second chance which has been given.  Second chances don’t mean we just pretend the bad thing never happened.  

There are people who will never buy a Chris Brown album or watch a show hosted by Tony Veitch or go to Mike Tyson’s show in the countries where his famous name doesn’t get him past legal barriers mere abusive schmucks would face.

This is not denying those poor women-bashers a “second chance”.  Chris Brown is still making albums.  Tony Veitch is still on TV, or at least has been since his crimes became public.  And Mike Tyson is still touring the world selling tickets to a show which basically cashes in on his offending and got a cameo in one of the biggest movies of recent times (for reasons that escape me).  Looks like they’re all having pretty damn good “second chances” to live their lives of public fame.

When people say those guys deserve a “second chance”, what they’re really saying is how dare you criticise the album/show/celebrity I like.  How dare you remind me of those contemptible things they’ve done.  I don’t want to have to acknowledge that my fandom is associated with the violent abuse of women.

Sorry, fanpeeps.  Tony Veitch broke a woman’s back and then pulled the “I make no excuses for my actions, except all these excuses” stunt.  Chris Brown beat Rihanna.  Mike Tyson raped a woman.

You can go right ahead and keep supporting their careers if you like.  But you don’t get to force the rest of the world to pretend that they’re still perfect admirable role models for your own comfort.

Sean Plunket says it all re the Dowse exhibit

Remember my thoughts on Paul Young’s complaint about the Dowse exhibit which men can’t see?

But here’s the thing that pisses me off:  it seems like old white dudes like Paul Young have honestly drunk the anti-PC KoolAid.  They sincerely believe that the Human Rights Commission has some kind of god-like power to storm the Dowse, tear down the curtains around Sophia Al-Maria’s exhibit and instantly beam its images into the heads of all good Kiwi men so that SEXIST OPPRESSION SHALL BE NO MORE!!!!

Boy, is he in for a surprise.

Lest you think I was just being an hysterical feminist, here’s how Sean Plunket literally thinks the mediation process should go:

1: The commission tells the Dowse and the council it appears to be breaching our laws on discrimination. 2: The council and the Dowse say sorry and lift the restrictions. 3: The complainants say thank you to the commission for upholding the law and to the council and the Dowse for pulling their heads in. 4: The outcome of the mediation is made public.

That’s right.  At the merest appearance of discrimination, without weighing any of the actual harm involved (you know, like our actual law requires) the Gallery should instantly back down and says “oh shit, sorry, I’ll do whatever the whiney white men want.”

(And, just by-the-by, breach their agreement with the artist and her participants.  But who cares, right, they’re just silly brown women who Need To Be Saved.)

Do you think this is actually how Sean Plunket thinks our human rights framework works?  Or just how it should work when the group being “oppressed” (by, let’s remember, not being allowed to see a three-minute video screened in a storage area which the participants don’t consent to them seeing) is entitled dudes?

Full kudos to commenter no. 1, Guy, for summing this up in terms even Sean and Paul Young should be able to understand:

Sean, you’re being rather silly. It is the same as a man wanting to go and look inside a women’s changing room. While you might well want to sneak a peek at what they look like with their clothes off / veils off, the women concerned do not want men to see them like that, and so men are banned from the changing room. Anyone caught drilling holes in the changing room walls is arrested and branded a pervert. End of story.

The thin end of the wedge: art edition

Background here.

Paul Young, who really, really has to see a video of women who agreed to be filmed under the condition men not look at them, thinks this whole Dowse thing is “the thin end of the wedge.”

I agree.  Why, allow this 3-minute video to be shown off in a tiny blocked-off out-of-the-way of a public gallery, and what’s next? Five-minute videos?  Ten??????  My god, they might extend it to an area larger than a toilet cubicle!  It might not be tucked away behind the reception desk!

Seriously, though, watch the 3News video.  Now when they’re talking about Paul and his mates “politely asking” to see something in the full knowledge it violates the wishes of the participants, who talks about “respectfully declining”?  The gallery head does.  Who brings up “maybe they’ll call in the police!!!!”?  Paul Young does.  Gee, which side do you think is trying to stir shit up?  Which side do you think has a grandiose sense of entitlement?

If the Dowse Gallery is clever, they will have a handy power switch at reception which will stop the exhibit playing if any entitled wankers like Paul Young try to bully their way into an exhibition which does not affect them, does not impede them, does not harm them – except for the terrible damage done to their privilege.

Paul Young is hopeful they’ll “sway” the issue – i.e. the exhibit will be “canned” and no one will be allowed to see it.  Because Muslim women’s ability to have private spaces and interactions outside the male gaze is that fucking threatening, apparently.

White male privilege:  you haz it, Paul.

Via NRT: Rich man’s justice

What sort of sentence do you get if you run someone over in a fit of road-rage, causing serious and lasting injury? Community service, if you’re a banker. But even better, you get the judge weighing in on your side, minimising your offending, and haranguing the media for taking an interest in the case

Sauce.

As with comedians, it seems if you’re rich and white enough, the humiliation of being charged with a crime which you actually did commit is sufficient “punishment” for deliberately mowing down a human being with your car.

I’m sure if someone had just contacted the Sensible Sentencing Trust they’d have been more than happy to excuse the act on the basis of the terrible frustration he felt.

Anyway, he clearly felt threatened, because the man he ran down “might have been carrying a weapon”.  After all, he could clearly see the man was Asian, and they’re all ninjas, you know.

Here’s the thing:  this kind of attitude, displayed by our judiciary and even our most fervent hang-’em-high proponents, is fucking dangerous.  It’s like LudditeJourno said of the efforts in Whanganui to stop Stuart Murray Wilson being paroled there:

People of Whanganui – you already have rapists living there.  I’m sorry, but you do.  It’s just that they don’t look like our imaginary rapist, they are not quite “beastly” enough, they are “good, kind loving family men” and/or “pillars of the community.”

When we say, oh, the poor little rich man, he’s such a contributor to the community, he’s got a spotless record, he really showed remorse, honest he did – all we are doing is setting ourselves up to let murderers and rapists and child molesters walk free.

You think Graham Capill would have gotten away with abusing as many children as he did if people didn’t assume, why, he’s a religious ex-police prosecutor, that makes him A Good Man!  You think BTK would have killed 10 people before being caught (largely due to his own ego) if he weren’t a Good Church Man?  John Wayne Gacy was head of his local chamber of commerce!  And a kid’s birthday clown!

Seriously, people.  Use your brains, stop assuming that if someone joins the Rotary his behaviour must be above reproach.  Stop assuming that if someone from a privileged background has a “clean record” that means he’s never done anything bad before.  To quote the great Terry Pratchett:  “I’ve got ten years’ good conduct!”  “No, that’s ten years’ Not Found Out.”

Banning men from looking at women who don’t consent: that’s real discrimination

The story:  Old white man is pissy because an artist recorded a group of Muslim women in a situation where they would not consent to be looked at by strange men.  Artist offers artwork on that condition; Dowse Gallery accepts.

There’s a lot of argument going down around the fact that the Dowse is publicly-funded, is this discrimination, do we owe it to the poor oppressed brown women to tear away their autonomy because they’re too stupid to know they’re oppressed … yeah, guess where I fall on that one.

But here’s the thing that pisses me off:  it seems like old white dudes like Paul Young have honestly drunk the anti-PC KoolAid.  They sincerely believe that the Human Rights Commission has some kind of god-like power to storm the Dowse, tear down the curtains around Sophia Al-Maria’s exhibit and instantly beam its images into the heads of all good Kiwi men so that SEXIST OPPRESSION SHALL BE NO MORE!!!!

Boy, is he in for a surprise.

Here’s what Paul Young says – and our brave, fact-checking media offer no clue that he’s talking out his ass:

Human rights legislation did not allow for exceptions on the basis of art or religious belief, Mr Young said.

BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Per the Human Rights Commission’s bloody-hard-to-navigate website:

There are a number of circumstances where it is not unlawful to discriminate on the ground of religious belief.

Hence, you know, why the Catholics still get to ban women from the priesthood.  I’m not saying this exception necessarily applies in the case of the Dowse, but again:  don’t you just love how someone who has probably never previously even thought about our human rights legislation assumes that NOTHING IS EXCEPTED, ALL OPPRESSION IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH?

As for the merits of Mr Young’s case, I refer him to the HRC’s “Resolving Discrimination and Harassment Guide”:

A person must be disadvantaged because of the discrimination.

Now, if an Art History lecturer decides to make Sophia Al-Maria’s work a central part of a third-year compulsory Art History paper, and bases half the final exam marks on it, and then tells the men in the class “Ha, sucks to be you, wankers” then maybe Paul Young might have a case.

But it’s frankly fucking appalling to me that he’s going to sit there and – having made his complaint and thus presumably having read that guide – pretend that not being able to see an exhibit (which I’m sure, to riff off someone on Twitter, is right up his alley as an enthusiast in Qatari women’s domestic subcultures) is any-fucking-where near being “disadvantaged”.  Disadvantaged the way pregnant people are when they get fired.  Disadvantaged the way people of colour are when they happen to get arrested more often and sentenced to longer prison terms than white people.

Fuck me, his fee-fees must be so hurt right now.  Why don’t the mean Muslim women care about his fee-fees?

I think the issues on this are kinda complex, but also fairly simple to me in a “you don’t get to stomp on other people’s consent just because you’ve convinced yourself it’s for their own good” way.  And maybe under our human rights framework the Dowse, as a recipient of public funding, shouldn’t have accepted the exhibit – but that’s a choice they made, clearly aware of the issues involved.

But on one side is an artist and the rights to privacy of her subjects.  And on the other is Paul Young, whose main gripe seems to be, completely without irony, that it’s totally unfair to stop 50% of the population from seeing a single art exhibit, which I’m so sure they were all completely interested in.

Some further reading on the HRC website:  “Why can some groups of people be treated differently?” for all you WAAAAA AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STOPPED ME GETTING INTO LAW SCHOOL WAAAAAA trolls out there.

Sex offender gets reprieve from sentence he should’ve faced 11 months ago

[Trigger warning:  sexual assault of a child]

That’d be the headline if Stuff had a single ounce of integrity.  Instead, they’ve published an article which boils down to “oh noes, the poor man is left uncertain of his fate for a whole seven days, look at his fee-fees.”

The fate of his victim isn’t mentioned until you’re sixteen paragraphs in.  But don’t worry, because in paragraph five, my new Official Scum member Judge Mark Perkins has already downplayed her trauma:

“There is an argument that the [psychological] effect on the child of the offending is a result not of the offending itself but the actual breakup of the family.”

Yeah.  The breakup of her family because she was sexually assaulted by her mother’s partner.  (It remains unclear to me if the victim is his biological daughter, signs point to no.)

You’ll remember the case from this post of September 2011.  That’s where Judge Philippa “I like a good laugh” Cunningham refused to impose a sentence on him because he’s such an inspiration, and it was so tragic the way that his sexual assault of a child may have affected his career.

Sexually assaulting a kid SHOULD FUCKING WELL AFFECT YOUR CAREER.  And you should also face some kind of actual punishment, you know.  It’s not like any judge is going to let Mark Hotchin walk off just because “being publicly mocked by Hell Pizza is punishment enough.”

But no, after we’ve found one good judge (on ya, Judge Murray Gilbert) who can actually comprehend that

the consequences of a conviction did not outweigh the offending, … the judge did not take into account that the guilty plea meant the man had admitted he intended to carry out an indecent act on his daughter, and … the fact the man was drunk should not have been a factor in the original decision.

Now it’s back in the hands of someone who’s quite willing to think that maybe we should treat the obvious consequences of the offence as being the real problem.

There’s one chance for Judge Mark Perkins:  it’s entirely plausible that Stuff have lifted their quote out of context, that it was part of a wider discussion, that it was followed with the phrase “but that argument is, in the opinion of the court, utter cack.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see if some actual justice prevails.

Racism and corruption? In MY justice system?

Two cases [content note: domestic violence and kidnapping]:

  • A man kidnapped his ex-girlfriend, stopping her from getting out of his car by grabbing her bracelet so hard it drew blood and biting her on the back as he drove off, grabbing her cellphone when the police called it and she told them where they were headed, being pursued by police at speeds of up to 170km/h, finally crashing into a gully.
  • A man resented getting a written warning at work and threatened to kill his employer, and brought an airgun to the workplace.

Two sentences:

  • Eight months’ prison
  • Six months’ community detention

Two offenders:

  • A former Black Power member
  • The young son of a senior, white, police officer

You may be surprised to find out how those dots are connected.

That’s right, folks:  be presumably the wrong colour and threaten someone verbally, into the slammer with you.

Be Daddy’s Little Officer and restrain a woman by biting her and driving at speed for over an hour before crashing into a paddock, and the judge will be “merciful”, because aw, da liddle pweshus made an early guilty plea.  To a crime he was probably never going to be acquitted of because, um, hello?

But hey, now, I hear you cry, we’re talking about two different courts, two different judges.  Hawera and Rotorua are completely different places, with different cultures and policing needs.  Totally.

Oh, hang on a minute.  The judge who was so merciful to the creepy controlling abusive son of a police officer Remorseful Boy just happens to be Judge Phillip Cooper.

Judge Phillip Cooper who previously jailed a man for two and a half years for assaulting his ex and sending her a huge number of threatening text messages.

Judge Phillip Cooper who, when sentencing the Turangi child rapist to 10 years in prison, had this to say:

“I want to make it clear you are responsible for your own actions. But your whanau and extended whanau are responsible for bringing up such a young man who could commit such an appalling and sickening crime.”

So Judge Phillip Connor clearly gets that some behaviour, even when it’s not out-and-out physical abuse, deserves a strong custodial sentence.  And he really gets how an upbringing and society which encourages criminal behaviour can lead young men to do terrible things.

But suddenly, when it’s a Nice Young Man from a Good Police Family?  Six months’ community detention.  For kidnapping a woman, terrorising her, cutting off her communication, and fucking biting her on the back to stop her getting out of the car.

Because hey, that Nice Young Man pleaded guilty.  Like a champ.

Fuck me, but I want to see Greg O’Connor spin this one.

And let’s save the best for last, because here’s his defence lawyer, Ian Farquhar’s, argument against home detention (because clearly prison was never going to be an option for a Top Cop’s Son):

If he was sentenced to home detention, it was likely he would become something of a “caged lion”, he said.

Oh my god.  The poor baby.  Sentenced to home detention.  Without anyone even biting him or taking away his phone.  Gods forbid.

New Zealand:  where being a cop’s son means you never have to say sorry.  And being brown means you go to prison.

Tired old misogyny in the House

Forever and ever, until the ozone layer disappears and the oceans evaporate and the mountains crumble into dust, the following shall be recorded in the history of New Zealand’s Parliament:

Hon MAURICE WILLIAMSON (Minister for Building and Construction) : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I have been fortunate in the last hour to have been in my office with the Miss Universe New Zealand contestants. They are in the gallery, and I think this House would like to acknowledge them being here today

Oh ho ho, how droll.  But it gets puke-inciting when you see how the Speaker of the House, the dude charged with keeping order and seriousness and dignity among our elected representatives, responds:

I am not sure how that is a point of order, but either way it seems a very pleasant visitation for the House to have. I think I recognise the Wellington representative among them—a good surf lifesaver.

Naughty Maurice, says Lockwood.  Stop playing up in class!  Still, totes jealous, amirite?

Green MP Jan Logie, a frontrunner for an eternal place in my heart as a bolshy badass, decided that what was good for the sexist gander must be good for the goose:

I have been fortunate in the last hour to be in my office with the feminists of the year contestants. They are in the gallery, and I think this House would like the opportunity today to acknowledge them.

Lockwood was clearly in less of a good mood for this one:

Could I perhaps suggest to the House that, rather than see this practice continue indefinitely, where members do wish to acknowledge visitors in the gallery, perhaps the appropriate way to do it would be to seek the leave of the House. All members know they are not meant to refer to visitors in the gallery. …

Right, let’s break that one down:  it was OK, nay funny, for one person to do it [when hot chicks were involved], but when two people have done it [and the hot chicks have left] suddenly it’s “going on indefinitely”.

And all members know that they shouldn’t do this, but Jan Logie, first-term MP who might be a little shaky on the procedural side of things, gets the scolding – and Maurice Williamson, in Parliament since Adam and Eve 1987* gets no such reminder – instead the Speaker just expresses “confusion” as to “whether” Williamson’s blatant “look at me, I’m the manly man” showboating counts as a point of order (I’m guessing not, but I’m not the one in fancy robes here).

I want to be sympathetic to Lockwood, here.  Obviously you don’t want this kind of thing getting out of hand.  Maybe he’s even embarrassed that he acted like such a pathetic, desperate juvenile, making a sly little comment about “pleasant visitations”, and now someone – damn us stroppy feminists – has dared to call him on that shit.

It’s like being the teacher who doesn’t want to be constantly telling the kids off all the time.  You let a little thing through – and in this case, it’s one of your own cohort doing the pranking and all the social narratives are lining up to say it’s cool – and then suddenly the classroom is rioting, and you know it’s kind of your fault, and you end up sending the smart kid who was rightfully pointing out your mistake to detention.  While the original kid just gets to keep going through life saying “Yeah, I hung out with hot chicks and even Mr Smith totally said I was cool.”

But Lockwood isn’t a spring chicken either.  He’s the Speaker of the House.  He brought it into disrepute and he opened the door to Jan Logie’s counteraction by being a sexist wanker.  Sad, man.

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A sidenote:  this isn’t about the inherent sexism of Miss Universe and it isn’t an attack on the contestants.  The fact is, treating those contestants like pieces of meat to bolster Williamson’s ego, and Smith going along with it to prove he’s One Of The Blokes, is shitty, cheapening to our Parliament, and misogynist.

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*People born nine years after he was first elected can vote next election.  Just saying.